Active energy transport and the role of symmetry breaking in microscopic power grids

Julian Huber, Peter Rabl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We study the transfer of energy through a network of coupled oscillators, which represents a minimal microscopic power grid connecting multiple active quantum machines. We evaluate the resulting energy currents in the macroscopic, thermal, and quantum regime and describe how transport is affected by the competition between coherent and incoherent processes and nonlinear saturation effects. Specifically, we show that the transfer of energy through such networks is strongly influenced by a nonequilibrium phase transition between a noise-dominated and a coherent transport regime. This transition is associated with the formation and breaking of spatial symmetries and is identified as a generic feature of active networks. Therefore, these findings have important practical consequences for the distribution of energy over coherent microwave, optical, or phononic channels, in particular close to or at the quantum limit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012129
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
StatePublished - 25 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Active energy transport and the role of symmetry breaking in microscopic power grids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this